Ice Blues by Richard Stevenson

Donald Strachey Mysteries

MLR Press

Gay Mystery

ISBN 978-1-934531-40-2

Reviewed by Cassie

   

 

Private detective Donald Strachey isn’t expecting to stumble into a murder case when he goes to pick up his car from a towing lot.  When he finds a dead man in it, however, that’s just what happens.  He quickly discovers there’s a bit more to the murder than he initially suspected.  Political intrigue, death threats, and money to the tune of 2.5 million dollars are only a few of the issues Strachey finds himself confronted with.  Can he and his lover Timothy Callahan find out whodunit before they become victims as well?

Ice Blues is another entertaining installment of the Donald Strachey Mystery series.  The ever-evolving Strachey really shows his multifaceted personality in this book.  He’s managed to come to terms—albeit somewhat unwillingly— with few of the relationship issues from On the Other Hand, Death, which helps to settle him a bit.  The nasty Albany winter counteracts that, however.  Like a lot of people, he’s exceedingly grumpy in the winter, which makes his sarcastic sense of humor even more biting.  His ethics get a major workout in the story, with moral and professional dilemmas popping up all over the place.  Watching him struggle with difficult decisions was fascinating.  Lucky for him, he had Timmy to keep him (sort of) on the straight and narrow.  The plot in Ice Blues was slightly less complex than that of the other Strachey mysteries I’ve read, with fewer secondary characters to keep track of, but in this case that was a good thing.  I had an easier time following the political, criminal, and financial machinations that made up the tangled web of the mystery.  Some of the dialogue was a bit stilted, but I liked seeing more of Timmy, and Strachey’s cool combination of snarky humor and devious ingenuity.  While Ice Blues isn’t my favorite Strachey mystery so far, it’s a great way to while away a cold afternoon.

     

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